IVF vs. IUI. What’s the difference?

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2023 | Assisted Reproduction Law

Individuals or couples with fertility issues and same-sex partners in Florida often must turn to assisted reproduction technologies (ART) to start or grow their families. For those who have trouble conceiving, in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI) are the two most-common ART methods.

Before recommending either procedure, fertility specialists consider many factors in assessing why you are having problems. Age, sperm motility issues, irregular ovulation, endometriosis or blocked fallopian tubes are common reasons for infertility.

Recommendations for IVF vs. IUI

After the assessment, doctors will outline which procedure gives you the best chance of conceiving. Each situation is different, but IUI is typically recommended if the male has fertility issues or if the reason can’t be diagnosed.

IUI is an outpatient procedure where sperm is injected directly into the uterus. It usually happens the day after ovulation is medicinally stimulated. The procedure typically takes about five to 10 minutes.

IVF is more involved, generally taking about three weeks, during which the woman receives high hormone doses to increase egg production. Once eggs mature, a doctor removes them and combines them with a partner’s or donor’s sperm in a lab. If embryos result, they are transferred into the uterus or frozen for use later.

IVF is the most common ART method and typically shows the best results. But it’s also more expensive. Each IUI cycle costs roughly $2,000, depending on the clinic, treatment plan and medications. IVF typically runs $12,000 to $17,000 per cycle, and multiple cycles are often necessary before pregnancy occurs.

Which one is more successful?

The first thing to understand is that neither process guarantees you will get pregnant. According to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, IVF is successful 50% to 75% of the time after the first cycle for most patients. But remember that multiple cycles may be needed.

The success rates for IUI are lower. According to experts, the procedure results in success about 15% to 20% of the time after one cycle and 40% to 50% of the time after up to four rounds. But doctors caution not to be consumed with those numbers. Each person’s fertility issues are different, and the success rate depends on many factors.

Focus on what matters

Infertility causes massive amounts of stress by itself. Adding the financial, medical and emotional aspects of IVF or IUI only adds to the anxiety. Couples also face legal uncertainties, as questions become complex when dealing with egg or sperm donation or surrogacy. Working with a Florida attorney experienced in assisted reproduction law can help you navigate legal issues so you can concentrate on your physical and emotional needs.